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Wednesday,January 20,2021
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Quality Healthcare

By Lee Ji-eun
Social Desk Editor
yukiilo@dongguk.edu

"Dngguk University (DU)'s hospitals have been more hurtful than helpful to the university's financial situation,?said President Oh Young-kyo in his 108-day project proclamation. It has been almost 2 years since Dongguk University International Hospital (DUIH) opened on June 19, 2005. Unlike expectations, however, it operated at a loss of about 590,000,000 Won last year, according to the annual report. And the productivity per one staff member is very low compared with other university hospitals. If these present conditions continue, they could become a serious burden to DU's financial management. And there are still many obstacles which DUIH has to leap over to emerge as a major university hospital........................................Ed.

DUIH is a large hospital with a floor space of 28,000 pyeong and is located in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province. It also has the blue-chip hospital staff and the most advanced medical equipment. 밆UIH is the first Buddhist hospital in the world to combine traditional oriental medicine and western medicine. It is convenient for patients because doctors can freely choose the most proper cure between western medicine and traditional oriental medicine according to a patient's status. Due to electronic medical record (EMR), which is a medical record in digital format, medical service system has been advanced so that people can see a doctor without waiting for staff to find their chart. And, of course, the staff don't need to keep a record on a chart. It is like killing two birds with one stone,?said Ko Ki-hwan, a team manager of Customer Satisfaction Management Team in DUIH.
Contrary to these many strong points and high expectation at its opening, the number of DUIH patients hasn't teached expectations. What has caused this dearth?
First of all, DUIH's disadvantageous location is a major reason. The hospital is located on the outskirts of Ilsan city and is not contiguous with Seoul, where there's a huge customer market. Even though there are new housing developments in the Poong-dong area near DUIH, there has been no increase in the patient rate. To maintain an equilibrium between incoming and outgoing patients, DUIH must attract at least 1500 outpatients and 600 inpatients per day, but it only gets about 1100 and 400 patients respectively. And DUIH promotions around Seoul and Gyeonggi Province are not enough to overcome this disadvantageous location. "I went to DUIH to see a doctor but I got lost because I didn't know where it was and how to get there. And I asked people the way, but they didn't know, either,?said Mrs. Hong Sun-ja, who had visited DUIH. Lastly, another problem is that DU's affiliated hospital is operated under a separated administrative system: Dongguk University Medical Center including Gyongju hospital, Pohang hospital, and DUIH. This causes poor communication among DU's hospitals resulting in low efficiency and synergy.
In order to improve their finances, DUIH concluded an agreement to open a stem-cell bank with Imgen, a bio-medicine corporation, on February 7th. It also opened a cancer center on February 22th and signed a partnership agreement with 45 hospitals. However, it is not certain when they will break even. The school authority is aware of this severe problem and is trying to find a solution as part of 108 project.

Visions for DUIH

1. Strengthen Medical Education And Research


-Improve graduate school of medicine

The school authority are planning to move colleges and graduate schools related to medicine to the third campus site behind the DUIH building. And DU is going to construct a new building on the Ilsan campus to raise competitiveness. A plan to have an exchange with Dongguk Royal University in Los Angeles for internationalization of Chinese medicine is now under consideration by the school authority.

-Revitalize western and oriental medicine research
DU will encourage its medical staff to take part in research activities and foster an active working environment by developing a rating standard that includes treatment and research achievement. It will also revitalize stem-cell research and other research in critical areas.

-Intensify academic-industrial cooperation
DU is trying to open a cell bank and cooperate with people working in related industries. And it will build a constructive cooperating model so that the hospital can support clinical information and technology and the pharmaceutical companies can provide medicine.

2. Raise the Efficiency of Hospital Management and Customer Satisfaction

-Improve the original management system
The school authority would combine Dongguk University Medical Center and DUIH and create a joint management department to make a systematic strategy. 

-Customer service program and globalization
Due to the aging society and increasing concern about health, it is necessary to start a customer service program according to personal health status.  The hospital should consider customer service as the number one priority.  In addition, it must develop competitive medical technology in fields like plastic surgery and skin care that go beyond the limited domestic market.

Lee Ji-eun  yukiilo@dongguk.edu

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